In Wales, the difference in life expectancy between those experiencing the highest and lowest levels of disadvantage is on average eight years.
Having opportunities to build friendships and confidence is key for young people to live healthy lives. At Tech Club Going Places, in Bridgend, children with invisible disabilities are given the chance to take part in adventurous activities such as surfing, kayaking, and trampolining whilst socialising with family members and building confidence in the company of other children.
The project has received a £24,581 grant from People’s Health Trust with money raised through The Health Lottery in Wales.
Leanne Toy from Tech Club Going Places said: “We see a huge improvement in the children who attend. One of the children who attends wouldn’t participate or even make eye contact when he first started and about three months later, it was like a switch flipped - suddenly he was getting stuck in and chatting away with others like they’d been best friends for years.”
The project attracts over 26 families with children under 17 who are all keen to join in the fun, whilst building lasting friendships and support-networks.
The project aims to reduce feelings of isolation for the whole family and recognises that finances are often an issue for families with disabled children.
Leanne explained: “It’s common for one parent to stay home as a full-time carer for their child and consequently many of our members are single-income families. We’re very aware of this disability poverty so we provide fun and engaging activities which may not otherwise be affordable, and really care for each individual member whilst bringing together the family as a whole.”
Leanne continued: “The simple act of going out with a disabled child can be very overwhelming, so for these parents to see their children making friends, chatting or engaging in physical activities is incredible.”
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